Meeting Protocol and Rules

Rules' Purpose:

  • Create a quality experience for our regular members and those that will become regulars.
  • Please address the group, preferably during the meeting (or in private) if you don't think they work well or could be improved.

New Draft Rule 1

We don't present our code and ask what is wrong with it. Debugging is not something that suits our format. After the meeting, you might be able to find someone to look at the code.

New Draft Rule 2

We don't ask technical questions during break, especially not from the mentors. Break is for resting our learning minds, the facilitator's and especially our valued mentors' brains.

New Rule 1 - Effective Now.

When a primary question is being answered, all peripheral questions are addressed to the facilitator via our chat tool (except simple clarification; "don't understand what you just said", or auditory; "can't hear you", requests).

The facilitator evaluates the question's clarity and relevance to the current question being discussed. The question is either directed to the mentor or saved for later.

The reason for the rule is that our kind mentors are too willing to help! We can get significantly off-track from the original question, perhaps then to run out of time - the original question never gets completed - everyone is confused and frustrated. We will discuss this potential rule during the next meeting.

Summary of Meeting Protocol - definitely read this:

  1. Most important rule:
    • You never ask someone (or the group as a whole) if they want to hear your lecture that:
          • you are "champing at the bit" to:
                  • give them,
                  • or the group,
          • or you think they may not know,
          • or you think they need to know,
          • or you think they care about at all.
  2. All discussion is based on a member asking a question.
  3. If a person wants a clarification or elaboration of some statement, they need to ask it themselves.
  4. We don't talk about other programming languages within a language specific group.
          • So it's C++ only in our C++ language group (no other language questions, except mention by passing reference only).
  5. You are expected to read the details below to get a fuller picture of how the meeting works.

READ THIS TOO! - a fuller explanation of what goes on at a meeting.

// TODO: make this more generally applicable to all sub-groups not just C++.

We emphasize questions and answers within our lively interactive round-table discussion. They're discussed in the context of a live programming demonstration with is screen shared and audio. Anyone can participate or simply listen.

Part 0 - Setup and Networking

0.a) 6:30pm - Personal networking and setting up your computer.

The formal schedule begins promptly at 7:00 pm:

Part 1 - Organized Q&A and Round-table Discussion (1 hour 15 minutes

1.a) Ice-Breaker - We will go round the table/room and optionally give everyone a chance to ask a question, or tell why they attended, or introduce themselves.

1.b) Brief Administrative Review: We spend a few minutes sharing comments and critique of how the prior class went and how to improve it.

1.c) Extensive Questions and Answers: Q&A and round-table discussion focused on the event topic (as noted in the title above). It is helpful but not required to have read the recommended reading before attending. Everyone is welcome, don't hesitate to attend! Even if you have not read the suggested material, or attended prior meetings, you are welcome and we will accommodate beginner C++ questions.

1.d) Brief Announcements: Calls for jobs, events, news, and points of interest from the all programmers present (and by businesses/group sponsors by prior arrangement only).

/* Note: Due to lack of volunteer mentors, currently Part 2 is also Q&A.

Part 2 - Lab, Personal Projects, and Individual Mentoring (45 minutes)

2.a) Individual or small groups practice coding on their computers. Projects can consist of anything; student's projects, IDE, development environment and library setup. Also, mentors offer ***individualized help*** for students with any C++ questions including topics outside of those covered that day.


Part 3 - Meet at Coffee Shop

3.a) Depending on interest, we may meet at a local coffee shop for free-form discussion. Yes, we sometimes even talk in the parking lot after the local coffee shop closes.

Optional Recommended Reading - Not required

Programming: Principles and Practice Using C++, **2nd** Edition -- Bjarne Stroustrup (AKA. Birds book) :: Chapters: All chapters in the book.

C++ Programming Language, The, **4th** Edition -- Bjarne Stroustrup (AKA. Mountains book) :: Chapters: All chapters in the book.

Suggested Compiler and IDE -

We will be using the Qt cross-platform development environment for programming exercises and examples. Of course, you may use any other compiler, but we may be less familiar with it. You can download the open source Qt product here:

Young People: All programmers are welcome, however if you are under 18 years of age, you will need to be accompanied at ALL times by your parent or legal guardian. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Who should attend? - Are you a solid programmer (in another language or C++) who wants to expand your horizons to the powerful new modern C++?

Learn as experienced Modern C++ 14 programmers (mentors) share their knowledge with you.

Mentors Needed! - Our expert volunteer mentors benefit from teaching, as well as hearing and learning alternative approaches from their fellow mentor's views, and the questions asked by the learners (students) during a session.

Don't forget to invite your programmer friends.

Group Culture and Meeting Facilitation -

We discuss deeply technical specifics regarding our topic. Introductory and advanced questions and answers are interleaved with the goal of everyone getting some benefit moment to moment. All questions are treated with respect. All answers/replies/comments and asides are considered, challenged, and supplemented by everyone in the group. We are highly interactive and we sit around a huge table to facilitate quality communication. No one is required to speak, but we hope you will have something to add when you are comfortable doing so. The moderator of the group is very proactive in keeping the discussion understandable, focused, on topic and moving forward, as well as creating space for people to speak and express their technical ideas. We aim for highly productive, highly interactive learning. Generally, Grant is the moderator and Alan is the primary mentor.

One thing that makes us truly different is that attendees can publicly challenge and or criticize Grant and Alan during the course of the meeting. If you think something is not being explained well, you can't read someone's handwriting, someone is going too fast, or the meeting is getting off track, you can say something. Grant and Alan will not be crushed, nor will we retaliate with anger, nor with passive aggressive behaviors, nor retribution. We work to facilitate excellent, efficient, flexible and responsive events and part of this means inviting audience feedback even when it is not 'ego positive' for us. However this does not mean that you can aggressively question other attendees, organizers or mentors, since they have not generally agreed to be public criticized.

Also you can join: (focused on Mountains book) (focused on Birds book)

NOTE: No food will be served, please eat before you arrive. However, there is a basic vending machine available in the kitchen at the Tech Ranch location.

All sessions are, or may be, recorded in video and audio. Recordings are not available at this time. These recordings may, or may not, be posted on the internet in the future. Generally, a simple web cam is pointed at the white board and only the presenters are visible. However attendee questions and comments can be heard. Your attendance constitutes your acceptance of being recorded.

Keywords: CppMSG, Cpp, Cplusplus, C++ Mentoring and Study Group,, Austin Texas